tv The Last Word MSNBC January 19, 2012 7:00pm-8:00pm PST
i mean, other people were getting their hands shaken at that event, but miss ellison got her nose grabbed. he just reached right out and grabbed her face? again, why? nobody knows. which is part of the wonder and perfection of it. america, it turns out, 2012 is going to be a contender after all. i live for days like this in politics. i've got to tell you. i mean, liberals think the best thing in the world right now is that newt gingrich is back in contention, but everything about today's news, best new thing in the world. all right. that does it for us tonight. we'll see you again tomorrow night from new york city. now it's time for the last word with lawrence o'donnell. breaking news. tonight's republican debate just ended two hours after it started with this explosive question. >> as you know, your ex-wife gave an interview to abc news and an another interview at "the washington post" and this story has now gone viral on the internet. in it, she says that you came to her in 1999, at a time when you were having an affair.
she says you asked her, sir, to enter into an open marriage. would you like to take some time to respond to that? >> no, but i will. i think the destructive, vicious, negative nature of much of the news media makes it harder to govern this country, harder to attract decent people to run for public office, and i am appalled that you would begin a presidential debate on a topic like that. every person in here has had someone close to them go through painful things. to take an ex-wife and make it two days before the primary, a significant question in a presidential campaign, is as close to despicable as anything i can imagine. my two daughters, my two
daughters wrote the head of abc and made the point that it was wrong, that they should pull it, and i am frankly astounded that cnn would take trash like that and use it to open a presidential debate. >> as you noted, mr. speaker, this story did not come from our network. as you also know, it is a subject of conversation on the campaign. i take your point -- >> john, it was repeated by your network. you chose to start the debate with it. don't try to blame somebody else. you and your staff chose to start this debate with it. now, let me be quite clear. let me be quite clear. this story is false. every personal friend i have who knew us in that period says the story was false. we offered several of them to abc to prove it was false. they weren't interested, because they would like to attack any republican, they're attacking the governor, they're attacking me. i'm sure they'll presently get around to senator santorum and congressman paul. i am tired of the elite media
protecting barack obama by attacking republicans. >> joining me now, joe klein, a columnist for "time" magazine, and howard fineman, aol "huffington post" editorial director and msnbc political analyst, both joining us from south carolina. gentleman, we've never seen the start of a debate like that before. explosive, right off the bat. to each of you, howard, first, how did you rate, how did you score round one? >> oh, well, round one went overwhelmingly to newt gingrich in that crowd. >> i can't -- >> there were 1,500 staunch republicans in there, the southern republican leadership group, tea party people. if newt gingrich was looking for a way to cement his comeback in south carolina, and to win the south carolina primary, that was the way to start out, by making the media the enemy, the crowd ate it up. i guarantee you that southern
republicans and south carolina republicans will do the same. listen, if life and politics were only debates, newt would be king. they're not and he's not. but, certainly, that was a home run for newt at the beginning, with this crowd and with this constituency. >> joe klein, if you're having trouble with your ear piece, i'm going to have howard fineman -- >> i am having trouble with my ear piece. but i will say that -- >> go ahead, joe. >> joe, you disagree? >> i kind of disagree. i don't think that newt was the king of this debate. he certainly started off strong, and that will be the sound bite on all the news programs, because we're so obsessed with ourselves, but i think that the guy who really won this debate tonight was rick santorum. newt is really good at attacking us. santorum did a fairly courageous thing tonight. he attacked both gingrich and romney on the substance. he didn't back down. and he made a very compelling case for himself. the best he's done so far, i
think. >> let's take a look at exactly what santorum did. he had a moment where, as you say, joe, he went after newt gingrich and mitt romney on health care, on the individual mandate. this may be scored as santorum's finest moment to a republican audience in this debate. let's listen to that. >> two of the people up here would be very difficult to elect on, i think, the most important issue that this country is dealing with right now. which is the robbing of our freedom because of obama care. governor romney tells a very nice story about what his plan is now. it wasn't his plan when he was in a position to do a plan. when he was governor of massachusetts, he put forth romney care, which was not a bottom-up free market system. it was a government-run health care system that was the basis of obama care. it is an abject disaster. he's standing by it. and he's going to have to run against the president. he's going to have to run against the president, who's going to say, well, look, look at what you did for massachusetts, and you're the one criticizing me for what i've done. i used your model for it.
then we have speaker gingrich, who has been for an individual mandate. not back when the time, when his heritage was floating around in the '90s, but his latest comments from 2008 a few years ago. i've been fighting for health reform, bottom-up, the way america works best for 20 years while these two guys were playing footsies with the left. >> howard fineman, santorum is polling now at the bottom of what is now a four-man race in south carolina, but it seems to me with answers like that and maybe a few other entries in this debate, he may have helped himself. >> well, i think he did help himself. i think rick santorum did help himself, and i agree with joe and his analysis, and i'll go him one better on it. in the sense that i think rick santorum was the guy who was speaking reality. he was talking about average lives and average people more convincingly than the others who were trying to outdo each other with the sound bites that would
impress people like me. >> i love the fact that he had his tax returns on the computer. >> the tax returns on the computer. but i must say, also, that the whole thing -- rick santorum had the slight air of valedictory about him here. it's an amazing thing the way the candidates always do the best just before they get shoved off the stage. he said, i made the final four, i haven't had time to get home for my tax returns, and he was in the position of finally being the prosecutor against the other two guys, against romney and newt gingrich, which he had, for the most part, personally resisted doing. you want to be the nice guy here. he turned into the prosecutor at the end. i'm not sure it's enough to save him here or elsewhere. >> that's in his dna, though. he was a prosecutor. >> yes, that's what he was. he came out effectively as that. >> and the other guy we haven't mentioned was romney, who i thought had a very efficient debate. nobody really layed a glove on him. again, he didn't make any real mistakes as he did on monday when he was very uncertain of himself. and what we could say about ron
paul is that he also was in attendance. >> yes, if you're looking, lawrence, for how it affects the horse race, and after all, that's however we cut it, that's still a fundamental question with only hours now before the south carolina primary, i certainly think that newt gingrich, with this crowd and with these people here, who want a fighter, who like cockfighting, who like the hard scrabble, who like the confrontational approach, that's what newt gingrich gives them. it may be short sighted of them going down the road, but these people here in this state want to feel like they've got a feisty person to go up against barack obama. their hatred of barack obama is almost blinding in its intensity, and newt feeds that, if i'm not mistaken. >> right. although, there's a line -- for the first time in any of these debates, i saw newt misuse the english language tonight. he called his ideas grandiose. that means kind of overly grand, over the top. and the question is whether
people who have been leaning toward newt will think him more grandiose than grand after tonight, especially given the humility and the courage that santorum showed. >> and also, santorum basically called him crazy. not quite in so many words, he called newt gingrich crazy. and mitt romney did behave -- i thought mitt romney behaved in a gentlemanly way for the most part. he got a little irritated when he thought his character was being impugned. but, you know, romney was at his best in the sense that he was the classy guy who could -- >> unflappable. >> unflappable classy character. >> let's go to romney. i think we can all agree that gingrich dominated what would be the emotional impact part of the debate. romney doesn't exactly speak from the gut. he, as we know, does kind of memorized rusation memorized recitations on things. one of the thing he's running
into trouble on in south carolina is bain. his relationship to bain, how they made their money, and what kind of capitalism bain capital was up to. let's listen to what he had to say about bain. >> i hope i get a chance to talk about the topic you began with. we'll come back to the direct attack from speaker gingrich in a moment. let's go back and talk about, first, what you do to get the economy going. >> i'm glad you have that opportunity. i want to go back and see if we can clear this about. the question's about bain. many have been about the number. you have said 120,000 jobs that you can tie back to decisions you made at bain capital. i want you to take your time, sir, and do the math. >> i'll do the math, but let me tell you, i know we're going to get attacked from the left, from barack obama on capitalism. i know people are going to say, oh, you should only practice it this way or that way and think they know better than the capital market. my view is capitalism works. free enterprise works. and i find it kind of strange, on a stage like this with republicans, having to describe how private equity and venture
capital work and how they're successful and how they create jobs. but let me tell you that answer. we started a number of businesses. four in particular created 120,000 jobs, as of today. we started them years ago, they've grown well beyond the time i was there, to 120,000 people that have been employed by those enterprises. there are others we've been, some of which have lost jobs. people have evaluated that since, well, since i ran four years ago, when i ran for governor. and those that have been documented to have lost jobs lost about 10,000 jobs. so 120,000, less 10,000 means that we created something over 100,000 jobs. >> that seems to me to be a typical romney moment in this debate. joe klein, did he have to do any more than that, or was that good enough? >> well, joe, what they're asking is, did mitt romney in that latest recitation of the arithmetic of jobs gained and lost, did he give a credible abs there? is that as good as he's going to
get? >> i think it's credible to the republicans, but newt was headed in a really interesting direction in his comments just before. nd it wasn't about the net/net of jobs gained and lost, it was about the private equity capitalism model. which really has kind of overwhelmed our financial system over the last 30 years. and the real questions for romney in the long-term is, are -- is that sort of model, which really aggrandizes executive pay and really opens, you know, iffy companies to ruin, because of the debt that they take on, is that in the best long-term interests of our free market system? >> although i think that the other candidates basically skipped over that tonight. >> right. >> they did not really go after mitt romney on that topic, lawrence. they didn't really go down the line that, you know, barack obama's going to go down. they sort of shied away from that. and i thought mitt romney, when mitt romney said to newt gingrich, you know, i wasn't holding my breath, waiting for
help from washington, d.c., during the four years that you were speaker, i thought was a pretty effective retort by romney in that case. >> romney's always going to win that argument with a republican audience. >> that's for sure. >> i just wanted to point out that those opening answers that newt gingrich gave involving his second marriage, each of them provoked two standing ovations in his, from the audience. there were no other standing ovations that any of the other candidates got in the course of the evening. and that's what i mean about gingrich winning the emotion of that crowd. and winning it very, very early. when you see that crowd walking out of there tonight, what do you think in the end most of them are walking out with? what is the most positive impression of any candidate there that most of them are walking out with? >> well, joe, what do you think the -- i think the most positive impression that the people are going to have, that they're going to walk out of here with tonight, is newt's exchanges
with the media. >> right. >> inevitably, we may lament it, complain about it, we may think we're paying too much attention to ourselves, but the fact is that 1,500 republicans were invited, were cajoled into partnering with cnn to take part in this thing. they come to this cnn event, and all the other networks have done the same thing. they've all been forced to partner -- or wanted to partner with republican groups. the republican come into events, and then the republicans give standing ovations to candidates who attack the media. they even did it at the fox thing with juan williams. >> what it says about gingrich, throughout these debates, his most effective moments of attack have been against us, have been against -- in attacking us. with that audience, it's kind of like saying that osama bin laden was a bad person. i mean, he has never mounted, or rarely mounted, effect i haive attacks on his fellow candidates. and that raises questions about
whether he's going to have the courage to go after barack obama. because you remember, howard, you and i were there, back in the mid-'90s, when he had to go up against bill clinton, he folded like a cheap suit. >> i don't think he's going to do it this time, because i think the media environment has changed also. but the thing is, lawrence, that this really is not an ideological battle here. all the candidates are arguing about who's the truest to an agenda that they all essentially agree on. >> right. >> for the most part. >> so the whole body language of the republican contest is not about ideology, it's about who is true and who is able to carry the conflict? if you're looking for a fighter, if you're looking for somebody who loves conflict within and that's what these republican voters are looking for, that's why newt has surged into a tie, if not the lead in south carolina. >> okay. we've got to wrap it there. msnbc political analyst howard fineman and "time" magazine's joe klein, thanks for putting up with the difficult audio down there. >> without aid of earpiece, i want you to know. >> but we have howard fineman to
save the day. thank you both for joining me tonight. >> okay, take care. coming up, the democratic response to tonight's debate, the chairman of the dnc, debbie wasserman schultz joins me. and later, the questions over what mitt romney pays or doesn't pay in taxes. david k. johnston is coming up. is it fast? it's got 10 speeds, my friend. ♪ is it fast? it's got a lightning bolt on it, doesn't it? ♪ is it fast? i don't even know if it's street-legal. ♪ is it safe? oh, yeah. it's a volkswagen. [ male announcer ] the security of a jetta. one of nine volkswagen models named a 2012 iihs top safety pick. ♪ got you in a stranglehold, baby ♪ and it showed me the pressure points on my feet
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when you release your tax return, specifically? >> an hour ago. >> i don't even intention of doing it, but for a different reason, i would probably be embarrassed to put my financial statement up against their income. i don't want to be embarrassed, because i don't have a greater income. >> when i get home, you'll get my tax. governor romney has told what my tax rate is. mine's higher than that, i can assure you, but i can't tell you what with it was.
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get great deals on all kinds of beach vacations. it is imperative that we defeat barack obama. this is, i believe, the most dangerous president of our lifetime. >> joining me now, florida congresswoman debbie wasserman schultz, the chairwoman of the democratic national committee. congresswoman wasserman schultz, the most dangerous president of our lifetime. >> yeah, that's a pretty astonishing statement.
really outrageous. what we should all be focused on, whether you're the entire republican field, barack obama, or any person aspiring to be president of the united states, we should all be focused on making sure that we can work together to get this economy turned around and create jobs. and this entire republican field is so extreme that they repeatedly demonstrate how they only care about one job, barack obama's, and president obama continues to demonstrate, like he has in creating 22 straight months of private sector job growth, that he cares about american jobs. >> what did you make of attack on the president's health care bill and their answers to the question of, would they or how would they repeal it if they become president? >> well, i mean, i think there's a reason that you saw themself all twisting themselves into a pretzel, not really being able to answer that question effecti
effectively, because you know, i don't know that they want to straight-up acknowledge, unless you're mitt romney, that they don't care whether around insurance company drops you or denies you coverage. the affordable care act, thanks to president obama, prohibits insurance companies from doing that. and there are 45% of the american people who live with a pre-existing condition. i'm one of them as a breast cancer survivor. i can tell you that the day i was diagnosed with breast cancer, lawrence, i became one job loss away from being uninsured and uninsurable, and the entire republican field would change it back so that that could happen to me again. and the millions of americans like me. that's unacceptable, and it's just demonstrative of how out of touch they are with middle class working families. >> now, newt gingrich tried to put pressure on mitt romney, actually during the debate, having his staff release his 2010 tax return, showing $3.1 million of income, almost $1 million of taxes, federal taxes paid, on that, just about a 30%
rate on that. so this is one very rich guy, newt gingrich, who's demanding that a super rich guy running for president against him release his tax returns. how important is it that we get the tax information from mitt romney in particular, who seems the most reluctant to give it? >> well, it's just been painful to watch mitt romney twist and turn and do everything he can to avoid just coming right out, saying that he would release, you know, his tax returns for multiple years, and be consistent and say that he would show all of his finances and come clean. he is clearly uncomfortable about doing that. it's hard to understand why he hasn't just been point-blank and already done it. why does it have to wait until april? so that his accountants can clean up his tax return that he's filing for this year and figure out what to do with the previous years?
the american people deserve to know before they cast votes whether it's this saturday or subsequent primary elections or the general election, they deserve to know what the true facts are about each presidential candidate's finances. barack obama released eight years' of tax returns. every nominee has released their tax returns. mitt romney's father released 12 years' of tax returns because he thought one year wasn't enough, because it could be an anomaly. mitt romney, when asked that question, whether he would do the same and follow in his father's footsteps, his answer was -- maybe. well, i think the american people deserve a lot more certainty than maybe from someone who aspires to be president. >> quickly, before you go, there was a lot of bombardment of the president in this debate. and other than gingrich's just insane statement about the president being dangerous, which is obviously untrue, what was -- what do you think was the most false attack launched against president obama in the debate tonight? i know that's a hard thing to pick out of everything they were
talking about. >> well, i'll tell you, rather than tell you what the most false attack is, i thought the most false statement was that when mitt romney said that he lives on the streets of america -- >> yes, yes. >> -- and understands what people who live on the streets of america are going through. you know, someone who has a 10,000-square-foot home and is worth $200 million or approximately $200 million, that's not quite someone who's in touch with people who live on the real streets of america. barack obama, as a community organizer, as someone who's been in there fighting to make sure that people who do live on the real streets of america have a fair opportunity to be successful in this country, he's the one who gets it. >> the rich guy still hasn't found a way of admitting that he's rich. congresswoman debbie wasserman schultz, chairman of the democratic national committee, thank you very much for joining us tonight. >> thanks, lawrence. as always, thank you. coming up, the taxing questions for mitt romney. and later, goldie taylor, toure, and d.l. hughley will join me to talk about newt's open marriage
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in 1967, your father set a ground-breaking -- what was then a ground-breaking standard in american politics. he released his tax returns. he released them for not one year, but for 12 years. and when he did that, he said this. "one year could be a fluke, perhaps done for show." when you release yours, will you follow your father's example?
>> maybe. you know, i don't know how many years i'll release. i'll take a look at what the -- what our documents are. and i'll release multiple years, i don't know how many years. >> that was the most perfectly framed question of the debate, and it cornered mitt romney into making news tonight by saying he will release multiple years of his personal income tax returns in april. newt gingrich's campaign actually posted his federal income tax return for 2010 online during the debate. it shows an adjusted gross income of $3.1 million, and he paid $994,000 in federal income tax. joining me now, pulitzer prize winning author, david k. johnston, a columnist for reuters and a professor at syracuse law school. david, quickly, what do you make off the top of your head of newt gingrich's tax numbers, if true? it looks like, according to my
math, quickly run here, he's paying a 31.6% effective rate on $3.1 million in income. >> well, that's about what we would expect from someone at his level. remember, he has earned income. and we tax wages, salaries, money he gets for speaking fees and consulting work at a higher level for capital income. if we adopted his plan, his tax rate would drop to 15% on that, that is by more than half. >> and just to explain to the audience, the 35% top tax rate, virtually no one pays, because someone like gingrich probably has a mortgage deduction that could be worth as much as $50,000 off the top, he probably has a couple hundred of thousands of dollars in investment income taxed at a lower rate, and that's why the rate ultimately stumbles down to around 31%. but as you say, for someone at that income level, that is actually a fairly high rate to be paying at $3 million of income. >> it is, because what it tells
you is that he has mostly earned income, unlike romney, who has said his income is almost entirely from dividends and capital gains on which, around the 2003 law championed by president bush, the maximum rate is 15%. >> now, i think john king's question about how many years will you release is the crucial question. you and i have talked about it before. if he just releases one year, this last tax year, he can manipulate that between the time of now and april 15th to make that look as good as possible. but what we really want to see is a couple years back. what would be a meaningful release in your mind for romney to do on his tax returns? >> well, lawrence, he's been running for president since 2007, when he filed a disclosure statement. so his last five years of tax returns, he's had the opportunity to arrange his finances to make them look as good as possible for running for office. and unlike wage earners, the vast majority of americans, he's in a position to shape his tax
return, as you pointed out the other night. i don't particularly care about the last five years' tax returns. i think the ones that matter are 1984 through 1999. those are the years he ran bain capital. and the questions we want to know are, um, how much of your wealth was in carried interest, on which you get paid now and pay taxes in the future. how much carried interest, if any, does he still have? that is, how much of his wealth has yet to be taxed? and then i think there's a very important question about this $100 million trust fund for his five sons. remember, he said, i didn't inherent anything from my parents. well, he gave his sons $100 million. what gift tax did he pay on that? was there some advice used to get around, perhaps, massachusetts state or federal income taxes? we, i think, need to ask questions about that trust. >> and he actually did inherit at least $1 million from his father, which he neglected to mention tonight. >> not very much!
>> but he was already richer than his father through bain capital. david cay johnson, thank you very much for joining me tonight. coming up, newt gingrich's second wife, marianne gingrich, tells abc news that newt asked her for an unconventional marital arrangement, and then ended up divorcing her. toure, goldie taylor, and d.l. hughley will join me to talk about newt's little political problem involving open marriage. that's coming up. [ male announcer ] wouldn't it be cool if you took the top down on a crossover? if there were buttons for this?
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>> well, he was asking to have an open marriage, and i refused. >> that was marianne gingrich, newt gingrich's second wife, in an interview with abc. joining me now are thegrio.com's goldie taylor, and author, journalist, and pop culture critic, toure, whose book, "who's afraid of post-blackness?" was with awarded for outstanding literary work of nonfiction. toure, the gingrich marriage is starting to sound like an outstanding literary work of possible fiction, romantic fiction -- >> romantic fiction. >> -- as conceived by newt gingrich. >> well, we don't know what happened. >> we know nothing. >> we're totally he said/she said. but this proposal that he's making is not toward an open marriage, he's saying, hey, i got a mistress, are you going to roll with that or not? that's not an open marriage. that's ridiculous leveraging. and he's actually giving the very interesting and viable concept of an open marriage a bad name, just by being in the
same room as it. we can make a reasonable case for it. >> a reasonable case for open marriage? >> yes -- >> you have the floor, sir. >> absolutely. it's about honesty, right? two people decide, we are comfortable with extracurricular affairs, as long as you come home at the end of the day, as it were. there were millions of americans who are cheating and being dishonest with each other. these people are saying, we are not going to be dishonest, they're on the floor, or on the table, saying, you can do what you want to do and come home at the end of the day. there's nothing wrong with that. in america, we freak out at the term "open marriage." in europe, they don't even bat an eye. this is no big deal. major leaders can have open marriages and nobody cares. >> what is the difference between newt, goldie, proposal for an opal marriage and bill clinton simply executing an open marriage, pretty much throughout, as far as we can tell, every year? >> well, let's be clear. there is no difference. >> okay, we can start there. >> we can start there.
there is no difference. the only thing open in an open marriage is somebody's legs at the wrong time. >> oh, boy! >> i mean, that's sort of the long and short of it. you know, we have a name for that in america. it's called roommates. you just don't get married if you're not willing to put together what is a very tight social contract, that involves finances and possibly children and households, and yes, sex too. that's a social contract that really, i don't think, has anything to do with the state or anybody else, but between you and that person. but if you don't want to be married, don't get married. you can sleep what whoever you want to. >> let's talk about the south, let's talk about south carolina, and how we think this plays there. there are fascinating cross-currents here. look, we know what the divorce rate is in this country. we know that the adultery rate is far higher than the actual divorce rate. and that most of the people in that audience have either been unfaithful to their marriage vows or know somebody very dear
to them who have and survived it. and others who haven't. we also know that christianity was the first of the great forgiving religions. it's all about forgiveness. and you can be the worst sinner in the world yesterday. and everybody in every southern baptist church can love you and hug you today, because you're right with god as of today. right? >> sure. reconciliation. >> so how does it play in that culture down there, in that republican christian forgiving culture? >> well, one thing i see is that newt gingrich seems to say anything at all, he seems to blow his nose and the audience cheers and applauds. and anybody -- >> standing ovations. >> yeah, and anybody in media is booed, at anything they say to him, whether it's juan williams or john king. so right now, it seems newt gingrich can do no wrong, and these people who, electorally, don't want to get married to mitt romney, are willing to put up with anything, including a potential open marriage, to newt
gingrich. >> now, we went through this whole debate, and he was asked about this open marriage question, gingrich was not asked about calling president obama the food stamp president. he was not asked about all of these other statements that are, in many ways, in real, serious ways, far more provocative than anything having to do with any one of his marriages. >> i do. and i found that strange tonight, that the question did not come up. but i think you're dealing with an electorate, you know, i'm a proud christian and a proud southern woman. and one of the things that we believe in is reconciliation. so the difference, say, between a newt gingrich and herman cain is that newt gingrich admitted his foibles and said, i have sinned, he who sins casts the first sin, have reconciled with my god, and it's over. but on the other side, with herman cain, he never did fess up. he denied it until the bitter end, and thus, he had to leave the race. so that's the difference for, you know, many christians or people of faith. but as to the racial issues that have been brought up this week,
newt gingrich has been doing this for 30 years. he's been thumping the drum of racial insensitive for 30 years, stoking people's fears. i said it on twitter today, they put us all in the same boat. black and white, all of us poor, and got us all rowing in different directions against each other. he's doing this purposely, so he can drum up a very specific base that he knows will turn out in this gop primary. those people vote like storm troorps, and if he can get them to his side, he cannot lose. >> the open marriage came out today, and there's something in a news, political sense, sexy about. to go back to, unpack -- >> whoa, whoa, wait. open marriage involving newt gingrich is not sexy -- >> it's gross, in a jaba the hut way, but it's a lightning rod issue in that sort of way. and sure, it's the thing that people wanted to hear about. hey, newt, what do you think about this?
so as john king, you've got to ask him, and newt gingrich's response in terms of blaming the media is so gross and offpoint. it's not the media's problem here. it's whether or not he did this, and he seems to have had disgusting behavior toward his wives repeatedly, and whether or not his wife is telling the truth. >> goldie, quickly, before we go, it seems that gingrich has a practiced georgia ear and sensitivity for these racial issues that he always manages to go straight into. and these are very deliberate choices. this is a guy who grew up with lester maddox of governor of his state. he seems to know exactly how to phrase this to get those -- the audience excited about, as one of those people said to him in south carolina, putting juan williams in his place. >> you know, newt gingrich is the only guy i know who can make the word, son, sound a lot like juan. newt, not only, you know, can relate this script, he wrote
this script. it was newt gingrich who was marching across the south, training new candidates to run for a new republican congress, you know, over those years that he was trying to build that republican majority. so he wrote the playbook on this. so he's just spitting back the playbook that he, himself, drafted. >> toure and goldie taylor, thank you both for joining me tonight. toure, we are awaiting your updated version of the book with a chapter on open marriage. which you will be including in the paperback edition of "post blackness." >> thank you very much both very much for joining me tonight. and when we come back, we're going to talk about the new result, the rewrite of the election result in iowa. i never said, never once said that mitt romney won in iowa. and d.l. hughley's going to be here to talk about what he saw in this debate tonight. that's coming up.
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take control of your portfolio today. trade commission-free for 60 days, and we'll throw in up $600 when you open an account. in tonight's "rewrite," the news media has to rewrite its pathetically unprofessional coverage of the iowa caucus results two long weeks ago. >> it took us a long time to get there, but iowa gop chairman matt strawn making the announcement that governor mitt romney, former governor romney, won the iowa caucuses by eight votes. >> mitt romney wins the closest iowa contest in electoral history, as long as we've had the caucuses, and essentially
taking what was early on, lackilack i ing like a three-way tie and turning entitle a two-way tie, and now a mitt romney win. >> the first contest, can you imagine it being this close? any tighter? more surprising. the cover of "the des moines register" says it all, those eight votes were all that separated mitt romney and rick santorum. >> the nation's biggest newspapers reported it this way. "the new york times," "romney wins iowa caucus by 8 votes." "the washington post" -- "romney is pretty pleased with iowa win." "the wall street journal" -- "romney ekes past santorum to win iowa." i, for one, never said romney won iowa, because by any reckoning, an eight-vote margin out of more than 121,000 votes cast is a statistical tie. and oh, by the way, i never forgot that they hadn't finished counting the votes in iowa.
but with romney falsely declared the winner in iowa by a news media that had forgotten the most basic standards of reporting, the media then set mitt romney up to make history in new hampshire. >> mitt romney has such a lead in new hampshire, that if he goes on to win the new hampshire primary next tuesday, he would be the first non-incumbent republican candidate to win both iowa and new hampshire. >> and then when mitt romney won new hampshire, he was, of course, basically granted the nomination by the news media that was so impressed that he had gone 2 for 2. now that the vote counting has stopped in iowa, rick santorum turns out to have 34 more votes than mitt romney. four times the margin that romney had over santorum on election night. you'd think that the political media would have learned by now that it ain't over until it's
over. >> stay with us. we're about to take you on an exciting and bumpy ride. all eyes on florida at this hour, tim. both campaigns made an enormous investment there. >> first of all, florida went for gore. that's the biggest thing that's happened to gore's chances so far. >> we are now able to make a projection in the state of florida. abc news projects that al gore wins the state of florida and its 25 electoral votes. >> if you take away florida, all bets are off. >> the bush campaign is now contesting the projected victory for al gore in the state of florida. we have colored that blue for al gore. >> stand by. stand by. cnn right now is moving our earlier declaration of florida back to the too close to call column. >> we don't just have egg on our face, we've got omelet all over our suits at this point and on our face and everywhere else, because we awarded florida erroneously at one point, came
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with the political world wondering how open are south carolina voters to open marriage gingrich style, it is worth considering the following statistics. census bureau data shows that people living in northeastern states have lower marriage and divorce rates than the national average and people living in southern states are more likely to have higher marriage and divorce rates. and harvard business school assistant professor benjamin
edelman showed in a 2009 study that credit card receipts from a major online adult entertainment provider finds those states that do consume the most porn tend to be more conservative and religious. eight of the top ten pornography consuming states gave their electoral votes to john mccain in the presidential election last time around. joining me now, "the last word's" senior open marriage analyst, d.l. hughley. he will be performing at caroline's on broadway next week on wednesday and thursday, but he's here with us tonight. d.l., when it comes to open marriage, i needed to turn to the longest running married man i know in america. because i don't know ron paul. he's been married for about 75 years. you're 25 -- >> it will be 26 years in february. >> oh, boy. >> you get less time than that for murder. >> you do. in many states, that is very, very true.
but it's not suffering, it's a joy. >> well, to tell you that it's a joy every day, it is not. but i think that i married the only woman that i possibly could. but i was watching the debates, and it's just amazing. so newt gingrich wanted open marriage, he biuys a lot of jewelry, and he wants a lot of women. that's not a presidential candidate, that's a rapper. i may not vote for him, but i'm going to buy his album. >> yeah, it's -- the -- now, here's the problem. he stepped into it a little bit tonight. he was doing great with that thing, no, i don't want to talk about it, but now i will a little bit. and then he got the standing ovation. and then he got to the point of saying, it's not true, which has provoked this from marianne gingrich. terry moran at abc news is tweeting that marianne gingrich said, "moistuy story is the tru. if he had really changed, he could have stepped up tonight and said he was sorry. he never has."
so now he got himself in a fight. >> newt gingrich is the kind of man that will lie when the truth will do. the bottom line is that if, in fact -- when a man would leave a woman, the mother of his children, when she is struggling with a life-threatening disease, then he has forfeited the right forever to say the word "despicable." now, if he would leave a woman that bore his children, who he knows intimately, what do you think he would feel about a country of 300 million people that he doesn't even know? >> we've got breaking news that we have to cut into right now. president obama in -- at the apollo theater tonight, and we have breaking news video of the singing president. >> and then to know that reverend al green was here -- ♪ i'm so in love with you